Burnley striker Barnes is playing smart

It’s fair to say striker Ashley Barnes is not the typical modern day footballer.

Tuesday, 25th March 2014, 8:00 am
Keeping it smart: Ashley Barnes scored his first Burnley goal on Saturday and below a Smart car similar to the one Barnes drives around

He doesn’t drive into training in a fast, flash motor - indeed, he is more than happy in his Smart Car, although I’m not too sure his travelling companions are!

Barnes joined Burnley from Brighton in January, and brought the diminutive two-seater with him, much to the amusement of some of his teammates, in their assortment of Bentleys, Porsches and BMWs.

But, ahead of tonight’s visit of Doncaster Rovers, the 24-year-old admits it is all about getting from A to B, as he helps the Clarets plot a course to the Premier League.

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He said: “Where I was living previously in Brighton, it was 15 minutes from training, on country lanes, so the car was perfect.

“Basically I’ve brought it with me and I love it!

“Junior (Stanislas) loves it as well!

“(Sam) Vokesy has joined the car school as well now, so I have to take the wife’s car then, but I’m happy to stay in the Smart Car for as long as possible.

“I’ve had a bit of stick for it, but until it breaks down on me, it’s staying with me!

“It’s phenomenal on petrol - you can’t go wrong!

“You can get blown away in the wind, but I couldn’t care what people think of me, I’m one of those guys who just gets on with it and can take as much stick as possible.

“I’m happy to take it.”

The laid-back Bath-born frontman has had to be patient for his chance at Turf Moor, making 10 appearances as a substitute before his first start against Leeds last Saturday, after 25-goal top-scorer Danny Ings picked up a sprained ankle.

He got off the mark in his second start at Charlton on Saturday, heading the opener just before half-time, and he admitted: “It was probably a bit of weight off my shoulders really, so I can just relax a bit more now and hopefully crack on.

“Hopefully they’ll keep going in. I could have had two, but maybe I headed it too cleanly and it’s just hit the keeper, rather than him reacting.

“If I’d mis-headed it, it would probably have gone in.”

In the same game, Vokes netted his 20th goal of the season from the spot, and Barnes has no qualms about the 45-goal strike pairing being reunited once Ings returns to fitness: “As long as they keep scoring, I’m happy to sit on the bench. That’s not a problem, I just want to play my part whenever I get chance and help the lads out.”